It's May and that means it's time to observe National Electrical Safety Month! This is an essential event that highlights the importance of promoting electrical safety and educating people about the dangers of electrical accidents. Each year, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) leads an annual campaign to commemorate this month, focusing on reducing the number of electrically related fires, fatalities, injuries, and property loss. To support this cause, ESFI has curated a comprehensive collection of new and updated resources for the 2023 National Electrical Safety Month campaign. In this blog, learn about the history of National Electrical Safety Month, this year's theme, and electrical safety tips for Lockout/Tagout (LOTO).
History of National Electrical Safety Month
National Electrical Safety Month was first established in May 1991 by the ESFI, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting electrical safety at home, in the workplace, and in the community. The ESFI recognized the need to raise awareness about the dangers of electrical hazards, such as electrocution, electrical fires, and electrical shock, and the importance of taking precautions to prevent accidents from happening.
Since its inception, National Electrical Safety Month has been observed every May, with a different safety theme each year. This year's campaign, entitled "Electrification: E-Mobility," will emphasize the need for safe and efficient devices to support the increased energy demand brought about by the rapid advancements made in emerging technology, particularly electric vehicles. Throughout the month, EFSI will share information about this topic to raise awareness of the importance of electrification and how it can be achieved safely.
The Importance of National Electrical Safety Month
Electrical accidents can happen at any time and can have devastating consequences, including serious injury, property damage, and even death. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electrical fires account for approximately 45,000 fires each year, causing over $1.4 billion in property damage and 420 deaths.
National Electrical Safety Month is an important opportunity to raise awareness about the hazards of electrical accidents and promote safe electrical practices. Through education and awareness, we can prevent accidents from happening and protect our homes, workplaces, and communities from the devastating effects of electrical fires and other hazards.
Top 5 Electrical Safety and LOTO Practices
Here is a Top 5 list of electrical safety and Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) best practices to help prevent electrical accidents in the workplace:
Conduct Regular Electrical Safety Training: Employee training is critical to maintaining a safe work environment. It is important to train workers on electrical safety best practices, such as identifying electrical hazards, using protective equipment, and responding to electrical emergencies.
Perform Regular Equipment Maintenance: Regular maintenance and inspection of electrical equipment can help prevent electrical accidents. Electrical equipment should be regularly inspected and maintained by qualified personnel to ensure it is operating safely and efficiently.
Implement Lockout/Tagout Procedures: Lockout/Tagout procedures are a critical component of electrical safety. They are designed to prevent the accidental start-up of machinery or equipment that is undergoing maintenance or repair. Workers should be trained on LOTO procedures and required to follow them before performing maintenance or repair work.
Use Personal Protective Equipment: Personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential to protecting workers from electrical hazards. Workers should wear appropriate PPE, such as insulated gloves, safety glasses, and protective clothing, when working on or near electrical equipment.
Perform Risk Assessments: Conducting risk assessments can help identify potential electrical hazards and determine appropriate control measures to prevent accidents. Risk assessments should be performed regularly and include all aspects of electrical safety, including equipment, procedures, and employee training.
By implementing these electrical safety and LOTO best practices, employers can help prevent electrical accidents in the workplace and keep workers safe. Remember, safety should always be a top priority, and all workers should be trained and equipped to work safely around electrical equipment.
Enhancing Electrical Safety with Permanent Electrical Safety Devices
While following the top 5 electrical safety and LOTO best practices can help prevent electrical accidents in the workplace, there are also additional measures that can be taken to further enhance electrical safety. One such measure is the use of Permanent Electrical Safety Devices (PESDs). PESDs can make LOTO safer and more productive, easing compliance for companies and workers. These devices include voltage LED indicators that indicate when voltage is present and voltage test points that allow a qualified person to use their portable test instrument to test for absence of voltage from outside of an enclosure while in compliance with NFPA 70E.
By implementing PESDs, employers can provide additional protection for workers against electrical hazards. These devices can help prevent accidental exposure to live electrical parts and make it easier for workers to determine if it is safe to work on electrical equipment. The use of PESDs can also help companies stay in compliance with safety regulations, reducing the risk of fines and other penalties.
While the top 5 electrical safety and LOTO best practices are essential for maintaining a safe work environment, incorporating additional measures such as PESDs can further enhance electrical safety and provide an additional layer of protection for workers. Employers should consider implementing PESDs as part of their overall electrical safety strategy to help prevent electrical accidents in the workplace. Start your PESDs journey today by requesting a sample of our new ChekVolt!